I have had a number of requests to make available the text of my presentation to the Vancouver Historical Society in January this year. It seemed easiest to post it here as a downloadable PDF called Commercial Drive to 1940.
The talk gives a brief history of the Drive to the mid-1930s. It then covers in some detail the propaganda campaign that led to the building of the First Avenue Viaduct, which I believe laid the foundations for the modern Drive. The talk concludes with the introduction of self-service and supermarkets to the Drive and their affects on the local stores.
It doesn’t have the images I used for the presentation, but I hope you find the text interesting and useful.